Ho Ho Ho, Greg Redden!
I know you live in the North Pole, but where are you originally from?
I was born on a small mixed farm in South Australia; 3rd of Mum and Dad’s 10 kids. In a rural Catholic community, Mum and Dad raised us to believe in Santa, but a priority on the Nativity story. We moved to Adelaide where I studied teaching and law before taking over the family’s country pub in Strathalbyn. Completing 2 years of overindulgence in pub fun, I sleighed this way 32 years ago as International Field Director of ASIAC S.A.
And since when have you been spreading the festive joy here in Jakarta?
It began more than 10 years ago. My girth, hair colour and complexion seemed to be telling me something. Initially messing with my own kids, the Santa persona expanded with church and school volunteer services. We first used our “Godzila” sleigh ghetto blasting Christmas music and throwing candy through Bali (Kuta) in 2001. The Hargreaves (John of EP quiz night and JIKS fame) family also joined. We annually remount Godzilla Junior (our current model sleigh) around Christmas – somewhere between Jakarta and Lombok. Pub, mall and TV shows began about 8 years ago and it’s been downhill since then!
How many girls and boys are on your naughty list this year?
Please note: Santa has never met a thoroughly naughty little boy or girl (nose pickers, bed wetters and thumb suckers are all safe), but the bigger they get the naughtier they get! Glenn Ferg’s daughters challenged a little last year at Uncle Ron’s – but “the list” indicates they’ve lifted their game since!
P.S. Apologies to pub patrons seeking a peek at Santa’s list for details of bigger naughtier girls – confidentiality must be maintained!
What do you find is the most effective way to spread joy in this macet city?
Pull into nearest “rest station”. Wait for traffic to pass in the companionship of co-“resters”. If Santa season, walk the talk – accept a gifted beer! Macet on Kemang Raya atop a sleigh can be an opportunity to spread a bit of joy and free candy! (Jl Jaksa works too).
What do the children of Jakarta wish for most? Is it for the latest Blackberry?
They love being with mums and dads celebrating parenthood in their company. The latest B.B or other “stuff” is not much of a substitute for TLC, but if we have to be consumption orientated the B.B. is appreciated!
What do you keep on the dashboard of your car-sleigh?
I have my own “chronometer” somewhat distinguished, but car-sleigh regulation compliant. Why, who’s been peeking?
Not us Greg, I assure you. So, what three things could you never do without when guiding your car-sleigh through the streets of this city?
- Presents (inc. for the polisi when pulled over)
Where and when will we have a chance to sit on your lap?
The “bigger kids” will be gathering at Star Deli for Scott and Mary’s annual Christmas gig on Friday December 16th.
The Becak café on Warung Buncit will be hosting a Christmas eve party on the 24th where little kids will get their presents and an interview with Santa. Check with Ron about a special Christmas feed, probably after an impromptu sleigh ride down Kemang Raya – conditional on rain and Mrs Santa still being silly enough to drive the sleigh.
Last but not least – what did you think of the movie “Bad Santa” starring Billy Bob Thornton?
I am a bit leery of being a “bad Santa” – Star Deli boisterousness maxes me out! I try to remember that Santa is not the real star of Christmas.
Thanks Greg! Happy Christmas!
And sincere thanks and best wishes to your “nice” self. Yes, congrats! You’re listed alongside nose pickers, thumb suckers and bed wetters!
If you want to get in touch, email Santa at: [email protected]